Author(s): Roseborrough A, Lebec M
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: The increasingly popular sport of rock climbing is an activity which predisposes participants to overuse injuries. The unique physical demands associated with climbing, as well as a reported 33\%-51\% incidence of shoulder injuries in these athletes is suggestive of abnormalities in scapulohumeral biomechanics. OBJECTIVE: To examine the glenohumeral to scapulothoracic (GH:ST) ratio, as represented by end range static positions (ERSP) of the scapula and humerus, in a group of rock climbers and compare it to a group of non-climbers. METHODS: The GH:ST ratio of twenty-one experienced rock climbers was compared with 40 non-climbers using a bubble inclinometer to measure scapular upward rotation at the subjects' maximum glenohumeral elevation. RESULTS: As represented by ERSP, rock climbers had a significantly greater GH:ST ratio than non-climbers. The mean ratio of climbers was 3.7:1 compared with non-climbers at 2.8:1. Scapulothoracic motion appeared to be the source of this difference. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: A possible explanation for this difference could be related to the extreme and prolonged positioning associated with rock climbing maneuvers that result in shoulder musculature imbalances in strength and flexibility.
This article was published in N Am J Sports Phys Ther
and referenced in Journal of General Practice